Canadian Tire expands click-and-collect options

The retailer is testing automated ways for customers to pick up online orders in store.

Canadian Tire is piloting new options that automate parts of the click-and-collect process, giving its customers a quicker way to pick up their online orders in-store.

The first is a 16-foot tall tower that has been installed at five Canadian Tire locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon and Toronto.

Canadian Tire staff will place online orders into the fully automated tower for storage as soon as they are made. Customers then access their orders by scanning a QR code provided to them with their order confirmation, at which point their products will descend from its place within the tower.

Greg Hicks, president of Canadian Tire’s retail operations, said in an announcement that the company has a “test-and-learn culture” and that the locations selected to host the towers are among its busiest.

Meanwhile, Ottawa-area Canadian Tire locations have seen the introduction of self-serve lockers and check-in terminals. The lockers are a lower-tech version of the tower, with the locker containing a customer’s order that can be unlocked using a code from their order confirmation (similar to the locker banks that Amazon has in Toronto and Vancouver). The check-in terminals are tablets that customers can enter a unique PIN into, at which point a Canadian Tire staff member will bring their order to them.

Customers still have the “classic” click-and-collect option available to them, where they show their order confirmation email at the customer service counter to receive their order.

Canadian Tire has been relatively late to the ecommerce game, but expanding its options has been a priority since Stephen Wetmore returned to the CEO role in 2016. The company first began piloting home delivery for online orders last year, and made it available across Canada at the end of October.